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Sunderland v Spurs: The Report.

Well, what can we say??, last two games were away, last two games were won from a losing position. 

Some were saying our tactics would result in struggling to win if we conceded first, last two games dispels that myth somewhat. Again, a game of two very different halves, but both producing a goal.

We started with Capoue slotting into Central defence alongside Dawson as a result of injuries to the usual stoppers who play there. IMO he played very well and did not look out of his depth at all, playing some nice balls out from the back, and defending with great authority and in a manner that almost seemed effortless, dare I say he looked a natural. Walker yet again linked very well with Lennon and made some great overlapping runs, also getting back to attend to his defensive duties, with Lennon also making his usual effort to help out his partner in crime defensively, the Right was pretty well sorted. I always thought Walkers game would improve once Lennon returned to the fold, would you not agree?

The first half still played out at a laboured pace, yep, we were bossing possession, but not really doing too much with it, ring any bells?? pretty dour affair with a few speculative efforts from both sides, nothing really to bother either defence. So it came as a bit of surprise when Lloris decided to punch a tame looking cross from Celustka into the path of Johnson at the far post. We conceded. Catches win matches in some sports I hear, for me, this should have been a regulation catch. I think that after Lloris' performance against Fulham, maybe we can excuse him the odd mistake, not a plethora Hugo, the odd one. Take note. Sunderland held their lead for a mind boggling .....Six minutes.

My old mate Chadli AKA Belgian coach driver (topho) managed to keep the ball in play from what looked like an almost probable lost cause, he whipped it over towards the goal and Lampard, I mean Paulinho slotted home. A goal from a cross, we scored a goal from a cross. We went in as we started the half, all square.

Second half we played as we have witnessed a few times already this season, but not usually for a whole 90+ minutes. We were much quicker in our play, balls were played to players on the move and we looked like a different team, a real pleasure to watch. It was not too long before we added to our goal tally with Dembele's cross being diverted into their goal by a telling touch from O' Shea. Sunderlands 5th own goal of the season. Dembele was playing well again, and as usual had no difficulty beating whomever he felt like he wanted to. Same as Holtby, although not ghosting past people, his passing allowed for the game to flow he did not dwell on the ball, and played some great little balls to others. Full of vigour, he really does play for the shirt, chases everything and spirit to be admired.

Defoe's movement was pretty good, he hit the post twice. Fine margins. Paulinho yet again could have had a hat trick, he really does get in some great scoring positions. I sometimes wonder how many league goals he would be on by now if he could find his shooting boots. Well into double figures I'd suggest. Chadli rose well a couple of times and headed towards goal, after a little shaky start, he grew into the game and played well. In all honesty we could have scored Six in this game, we are now creating the chances but not converting enough of them as of yet to win comfortably. Hopefully this will come, if we look back at Newcastle, we would not have looked out of place if we'd scored Five that day, Fulham last week, whilst we looked a bit poor at the back, again would it be wrong to suggest we could have scored Five against them??. A late penalty shout from a handball from Sandro was denied, IMO, we got away with one there, but we were good for the three points.

All in all, a determined performance with a reaction to going behind. Why we can't do this for whole matches is anyone's guess. Conceded from our mistake yet again as opposed to their brilliance, something we need to try and nip in the bud. Thought everybody put a shift in, and the signs are encouraging. Two points behind Aguero and co. does not read too badly to me. Last Three games have produced Six goals for us, heck, we are averaging Two goals a game as of late ;-) Hopefully we can get a few back ready for Liverpool, Rose I believe is back training, will we see him?. For anyone wishing to complain about the performance or question the teams ability in relation to the game, I ask you remember one key thing. Only Arsenal have a better away record in the league this season. Not too shabby that stat is it?. Well done lads, AVB and all concerned. Another vital 3 points as the Spurs go marching on!!.

Written by Cider spur




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The journalist

Writer: Cider spurs Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 8 2013

Time: 8:59AM

Your Comments

see we can score.
longtimespur
I'm sticking to my post City prediction. AvB to be December Manager of the Month! Football is a funny old game, and this years PL is certainly demonstrating that. Seriously if you were told that after the Spurs/Utd game that one of those teams would lose their next 2 matches and one would win their next 2 matches which camp would you have put them in? Well done Spurs and well done AvB, he has bought himself valuable time from the media hyenas, who will now smell the blood at OT. Van persie also rumoured to want out. What we need is a nice juicy rumour this week that Suarez also wants out, that might upset the Liverpool apple cart.
jacobslad
Nice one cider. I agree, I am really starting to witness an understanding between the players. Even with a decimated back line we looked strong there. Midfield is opening up play, albeit gradually, through the game, and I now think it is time to get soldado back in the box to start mopping up the rebounds, short balls from midfielfers( Pauli/ holtby) and good feeds from the wings. This is they kind of play we need to feed his goal scoring hunger.. The distribution he has been starved of thus far.
Dublin Hotspur
Another great away win. Fantastic team spirit. Right back in the mix. Injuries will start hitting teams now and the strategy of us keeping 25 players happy and motivated will start to bear fruit. Looking good.
StillRickyVilla
Great performance, great win. We beat a team that scored 3 against Chelsea and beat man city, we should have scored more but happy we created the chances.
Kong
My stream kept going wrong so missed a lot of the game, the bottle of red didn't help much either. Just watched motd and thought we had enough chances to put the game to bed before the penalty that wasn't given. Who knows whom out of Defoe and Soldado will actually start scoring. Funny all those crosses going in and no Soldado there to convert. Defoe could/should have had a hat-trick. 2 wooden jobs and a 1v1 miss. Paulinho helps a lot up front doesn't he. Silly error by Lloris for their goal I agree. Never mind 3 wore points and only 3 of 2nd spot, brings a lot at stake for next weeks game.
longtimespur
morre not wore
longtimespur
more not morre or wore. seems like the wine is still working lol
longtimespur
Sunderland should have had a penalty for handball by sandro but in the first half Wes brown had a tight hold of Dawson at a corner so that could have been a penalty for us unless Dawson was holding onto brown as well which I couldn't see.
Kong
As has been said a thousand times by those with a modicum of patience - when u bring in virtually a whole team of individuals, all from abroad, its going to take a bit of time for everyone to settle and work out their combinations. There are signs that its coming together. Especially in central midfield where we look awesome. Given the squad was largely a bunch of strangers in the summer im so impressed with how AVB has moulded the amazing team spirit. Perhaps creating a bunker mentality as a result of the media vultures and a few minority knee-jerk fans is a good thing.
StillRickyVilla
Said after the utd game Chadli should be making himself available at the back post when play is building down the right...he's still not doing that but at least we saw the damage he could do if he did. It's not just Chadli to be fair, all our wingers when they play inverted are far too reluctant to support the striker when play is building the opposite side.
flipper
That's very true flipper, when you look at the top teams play, their wingers spend as much time in the box as they do on the wing.
Guyver
Especially teams who play one man up front.
Guyver
Guyver That's supposed to be the idea of 4-3-3. The front 3 move and interchange and all get in the box when attacking, but not all 3 necessarily at the same time lol.
longtimespur
SRV .... that's a trueism as far as I'm concerned.
longtimespur
With 3 center backs injured this could have been bad but Naughton and Capoue more than coped. Naughton played better than Verts at left back. Townsend looked better on the left than the right and he should play there if we use Naughton. Maybe Chadli or Siggy with the left footed Rose if he comes back in. Walker and Lennon are very good on the right which means Lamela should be looking at the central position, although I like to see all 3 of Sandro, Paulinho and Dembele in the middle. Of the 7 new signings only Chiriches, Capoue and Paulinho have added anything so far. How can he leave Sandro on the bench with 3 injured center backs? Having blatently handballed it yesterday Sandro gives a fake nod of the head and successfully fools the ref. He's a great character. For the first time ever Spurs will finish the season well as we've got so many players to pick from. Injuries are making AVB's decision easier. At the moment the 'B' side sees Europa league as second best. Next season swop Europa league for Champions league and they'll all be happy all the time and also the couple of world class players we need will stop turning us down. Liverpool next week. Hull nullified their threats by bossing the midfield so we might do well against them. The last two wins have got the spotlight of AVB for the moment. I think we'll scrape 4th this season and better still next season. We should have scored at least 4 goals yesterday
Halfmoon
Very encouraging signs. Yes, we maybe are still conceding sloppy goals at times, but Walker is looking better, Mid field seems to be improving week on week, and the chances are now being created. Townsend's cameo on the left appeared all good, maybe a starter for the next game with Lennon Right?, providing he keeps the width and does not continually cut inside. I feel we look much more of a threat with orthodox wingers as opposed to inverted.

Including the Newcasle game i think there could have been Three genuine occasions where we could have scored at least Five goals with a striker firing on all cylinders. We really are starting to look good in this department again, and this is without the main man i believe who was signed for the job. Eriksen. Get the obvious couple of signings we are lacking and those injured returning in the next few weeks and we are good to go. Could it be that we are starting to come good just at the right time?, namely the busy festive period and the homestraight run in. We must be doing alright....Jamie Talkcrapp said so.
Cider spurs
Yes longtimespur, but that's something we need to improve on I think. Imo Townsend, Chadli and Lamela are all capable of scoring goals if they can get into good goal scoring positions regularly. Also gives the lone striker more space as opposition defenders are distracted by the runs of the midfielders.
Guyver
A great win and we kept them very quite the whole match. Credit to the team to perform well under a few big changes and of course questionable support...
Mix26
Chelscum fans singing during an applause for Nelson Mandela. What a bunch of ****s!
Mix26
Mix...Keep saying, you can't buy class. Chelsea will learn this one day.
Cider spurs
True story Cider, makes their loss even better :)
Mix26
So what of these injuries to the CBs. Any updates or expected return dates. I'd appreciate any info. ;-)
Cider spurs
Nice article Cider. Nice stats..it proves we are a good team and we still have plenty of room for improvement - we can be a great team if given time. I thought we looked classy in the 2nd half and some of our play was fantastic. Walker had a great game, but there were so many pluses from the 2nd half and Holtby for me had a superb was game at no 10. Nice to hear Rose is back in training. The sooner he comes back into the first team the better. The jury is still out in terms of defensive ability, but I think the only problem he has is his positioning. That will come with experience but everything else about his game is top class. COYS!
James1
V Chiriches: Knock, no return date. J Vertonghen: Ankle/Foot Injury, no return date. No info for Kaboul. (Rested)? This is all I could find.
MAN ON!
A good win once we picked up the pace second half, Lloris needs to get his ass in gear he's making far to many mistakes
whitehartmart
I think having someone like capoue really helped build attacks from the back, the long hoofs were slightly more accurate. We seriously need to explain tonlennon, walker, paulinho, Defoe and Chadli that when there is loads of space in front of you to run into dont pass backwards.
gibbothfc
MAN ON!...Cheers mate. Hope we can get one ot two defenders back in time for Liverpool. That said Capoue yesterday seemed to make the role look pretty easy, however, i have a sneaky suspicion that a certain Mr Suarez will prove a totally different entity compared to Fletcher. Would love Kaboul and Verts back as CBs and hopefully Rose as LB.
Cider spurs
According to PhysioRoom Danny's return date is the 15th Dec. (This date seems to keep being put back)…….Capooue was a little shaky at the start but improved a great deal as the match progressed.
MAN ON!
I thought overall our back 4 were very strong yesterday. We did look to be playing a bit deeper in the last two games. Walkers best match of the season, I thought. Lloris really should have caught that cross, but was solid for the rest of the game.
MAN ON!
Berbatov is being linked with a return to Tottenham during the January transfer window. Do you think we could sell Soldado for 26 Million?
Halfmoon
Halfmoon, I'm sure that's just press talk re: Berbatov. Besides, shouldn't he be thinking about helping to get Fulham out of their mess?
MAN ON!
James1...Rose should hopefully be back soon, i thought he was coming along nicely pre injury. Hopefully his return will allow the team to become alot more of a threat on both flanks. Would be nice to see Walker and Lennon Right coupled with Rose and Townsend Left. Plenty of pace there i'd suggest, power in Centre Midfield with the likes of Capoue, Sandro and Paulinho, guile if required in the form of Holtby. AM, Eriksen, Dembele, Lamela, Chadli or Holtby. Soldado as of yet not quite hitting the dizzy heights he has thus far in his career at previous clubs. That said, he would've loved some of them crosses yesterday. not suggesting he woul've scored them all, but he has not been recieving much service, and certainly nothing like the amount witnessed yesterday.

Good quality LB and a top notch striker for me please. We have so many options i can really see us being a force in the not to distant future. When you consider the variations to the team we possess, and the number of quality players we have who can play various roles, and play them well, it looks pretty damn exciting. 5 players who can play 10, not even mentioning Ade as a second striker, or Kane at 10. How many DM/CM, wingers ?. We really have been granted the opportunity to put a marker down for a few years to come. Really looking forward to seeing this team evolve and reach it's true potential. Keep all the "Enic Auction House" posts and negativity that goes with it. Look at what we've invested and the talent we now have on our books. Scaringly Amazing. You wait and see!!.
Cider spurs
Ironically, I think if Soldado had played yesterday he might well have got on the scoresheet, as the service into the box was much better.
MAN ON!
Writing about Roberto at the same time, Cider spurs. I agree with your positivity……..
MAN ON!
A good win, but Spurs were very fortunate with the own goal and the clear penalty that we got away with. Defoe showed much better movement in getting free of his markers than Soldado, but sadly was not able to hit the net. The form of Lloris is starting to be a series concern with 3 goals that have come from his direct mistakes in recent games. Could the concussion from a few weeks back be still effecting him? When Townsend and Sigurdsson were introduced in the second half it clearly highlighted how we are a much better team without them! Chadli is on another level to both of them! Holtby is showing great promise with his vision and passing after a slow start at the club... Great support from the Tottenham fans who made the long trip! (much more positive than the internet arm chair fans who continually slag off the fans who actually pay to watch their team play!) Overall a good performance with a fair slice of luck...
Pele10
I think there is a squeak of truth in the Berbatov wants out story. Think his agent has been talking him up all week. We of course have been linked with him, but no no names or statement of facts mentioned. Same as Arsenal, they are supposed to be interested. I still think he could do a grand job for us, but i would be concerned with the baggage he brings, namely moodiness and toys out of pram oif not playing week in week out. Could be a perfect foil for Soldado, and for me personally i have rarely seen a player recieve so maney50+ yard balls from deep and control with a first touch as sublime as his. he oozes quality, in fairness after his Utd treatment, i wonder if he regretted leaving the Mighty Spurs in the first place. Like my late Dad used to say...You should never go back. Falcao it is then. ;-)
Cider spurs
Would Spurs want him? Berba that is. Defoe could have had a hatrick yesterday, Soldado could have done well
Halfmoon
Like many, I was suprised with the starting XI. No Sandro and Capoue having to fill in a CB! WTF is going on AVB? Well, there is a reason why I don't get out to Enfield and watch the training sessions, (mainly jetlag from Oz), but how impressive was Capoue? His distribution from the back is exactly what we need. Is Capoue a future Spurs CB in disguise?
Full credit to the midfield 3 of Mou, Pau and Lew. All played to their strengths and knew their duties. 2nd half in particular, the movement was very good. Chadli is tasty, some sublime touches and great vision. For me though, Kyle Walker was the standout performer. He is starting to find his form from 2 seasons ago. Speed is such an asset and we have the quickest footballer in the PL.
Very happy with the result and glad we took advantage of the 'other results' prior in the day.
thenuge
I agree of course about Berba's sublime ability but I feel it would be a step backwards if he returned. I also think he may have a negative influence on the "dressing room".
MAN ON!
pele10...Well said, glad you are able to see the signs of improvement and are able to state as much. I know you have your issues with the Board and owners, but at least you are able to sing the teams praises when they perform well. Agree we were lucky with the denied penalty for them, and yes, i too thought Defoes movement yesterday was very good. I think the best team won, lucky OG?, or were they lucky the ball hit the post twice as opposed to nestling in the back of the net?. Who was your MOTM?.
Cider spurs
I think we need to put this game in to perspective somewhat. Yes, I know they scored so many against such and such and beaten one such too, but THEY changed their tactics by not really having a midfield. Seeing our midfield, they just left us to it!. We wouldn’t have got that much space against other teams. Missed chances are still an issue and could bite us on the butt. Everyone seems to think we bossed the game and there was going to be only one result in the 2nd half. I disagree. Last 10 mins we were hanging on as they started bombing balls in to our penalty area and caused some malaise a few times, nearly nicking a goal in the process. Also, we were then constantly hoofing the ball from the back to no one. Why? When our possession is supposed to be so good, why don’t we pass it around?. This is where Ade (the holding forward) would be useful. We should have (and MUST) put such games to bed a lot sooner. So for me, whilst I am pleased with the development and the performance, it is still work in progress. COYS!

ps., I think criticism of Lloris is a bit harsh on that incident. He was almost fully stretched and IMO would not have been able to catch the ball, however, should’ve punched it instead than parry it. Johnson was unmarked in that area any way.
Critical_Spur
Critical_Spur, I disagree with your view of the last 10 mins or so. We defended strongly and I thought we cleared our lines very well. Sometimes you just need to hoof it upfield to safety when a team throws everything at you.
MAN ON!
Cider spurs, you say regarding Berba "i wonder if he regretted leaving the Mighty Spurs in the first place." I think the two Premiership titles he won at United would not fill him with any form of regret, despite the rocky relationship he had with Fergie. That's why he left Spurs in the first place... To win things! But your correct, he still has sublime control and a first touch, and I really hope he does not go to the Arsenal! It would kill me to see Berba win a third Premiership title in a Gooner shirt. Now that would be really taking the taking the biscuit... So we should sign him to stop that happening! But which team would he choose if both Spurs and Arsenal came calling???
Pele10
….Also Lennon and Townsend specifically, did do a good job holding up the play at their end, in those final few minutes.
MAN ON!
Critical...If Lloris had opened his clenched fist when punching he may just have been able to catch that cross. Who knows?. As already stated in the article after his display vs Fulham i can excuse the odd mistake, it happens. There may be differing views had it been that we lost that match 1-0 however.
Cider spurs
Catch with one hand?!....Is he Pat Lloris?! :0)
Critical_Spur
Cider ... Good article and fair reflection on the game. I still think its funny to read some of the posts during the game. Here's some advice ... it's not over 'til it's over! Some posters like to give up too soon; fortunately our team doesn't! When Soldado plays some posters say 'Defoe would have got a few today'; when Defoe plays some posters say 'Soldado would have got a few today'! We're making more chances now. Hitting the woodwork and being blocked is just unfortunate ... but the goals must come if we keep creating the chances and the goals will come for either striker. One thing is sure, the right has to be Walker and Lennon. They are playing the way we used to play when Bale and Benny were doing the same on the left (remember Benny?). Townsend looked like he got the message when he came on, putting a couple of good balls into the box and playing more for the team. Watching from the bench has not done him any harm at all. And, yes, catches do win matches ... just look at the Adelaide Oval! COYS
Geofspurs
Now that hybrid would make the perfect goalkeeper…..
MAN ON!
Nice of u to congratulate the real fans Pele10... How was the Chelsea match? Can u comment on the rumors re min applause?
Mix26
Cider spurs, As for my man of the match! Most defiantly Defoe if the woodwork had not denied him twice, or the one that sliced pass the post had gone in! Yes Defoe would have been my man of the match had he scored that hatrick! ;-) Seriously though, his movement was brilliant yesterday, which makes the midfielders job much more easy, when they see the striker directing where the ball should be sent to... Hopefully Soldado learned something from Defoe yesterday, about how to get away from a Premiership centre back...
Pele10
Don't mention the cricket!
MAN ON!
Pele..My comment relating to Berba was nothing more than jest mate, that said i bet that Champs league final hurt. Joint top league goalscorer with 20 goals and omitted from the Champs league final squad. As for which team, is it about the money, surely he'd get more games at Fulham as the main player than he would at Arsenal or Spurs?. So on that basis, one would think it is all about the one last big payday. Still feel he could offer us something however. Do i want him back?..........Fence at the moment on that one. Anyway, yesterdays MOTM....Walker for me.
Cider spurs
Sorry...pele you posted as i was writing. Yes, can't praise Defoe enough for his movement yesterday.
Cider spurs
MAN ON.... Sorry!
Geofspurs
Love the little 'vital' pun you got in their cider, good work. I didn't see the game but 3 points is great. As glen hoddle said you worry about strikers 'not getting into position, not about them missing chances' seeing Paulinho score yesterday I am thinking if he kicks in he can get 11 goals this season, and that will take us places. No surprise we've started playing well now Lennon is back, by far my favourite player right now.
T.H.F.Chris
Can't wait to see what mix of team AVB puts out in the EL on Thurs. Both teams have already qualified, so it's almost a non-event. IMO, Anzhi were the only team to give us a game in this group. I'd like to see Lamela in the hole supporting Soldado and give Townsend another start.
Critical_Spur
Geofspurs, that's ok, I'm not a big cricket fan anyway. I do however follow England when they play and want them to do well. Especially in the Ashes.
MAN ON!
Critical_Spur, It will be interesting to see who AVB plays on Thurs. He surely has to rest our key players and throw a couple of the youngsters in. AVB will no doubt confound us with some of his choices. Just a bit of a training session really.
MAN ON!
Geof...Let's not spoil a good day with talk of the cricket. ;-). i very seldom visit this site when the match is being played, i think at times it all becomes a little too negative, and certainly stops me enjoying the match having to keep posting. Having picked up the baton with writing post match articles, i like to not be swayed in any direction in order to put down the way i exactly see the game. If i was on here mid game, well, let's just say the articles would be a pretty depressive read each week.;-) I like to put a reflection down of the whole match, some like to get involved mid flow, which of course is their right, and the way they see it. Just not for me.

T.H.F.Chris...We played well, and yes, Lennon's return has seen us improve going forward it appears. Spot on with the reference to getting into goalscoring positions. I'll say it again, imagine what a monster of a player Paulinho could be if he starts converting some of these chances he is constantly getting as a result of his reading of the game.
Cider spurs
MAN ON ... I hated the game as a kid but got to like it more in Australia, so I’ll watch it now and again ... especially the Ashes! I see Berba is getting some mention ... Cannot see that happening, but I’d have him back.
Geofspurs
Geofspurs, I've grown into the cricket as I've got older. Never played myself so not the same passion I have for football. Hey, if Berba was to return I'd probably have a little tinge of excitement, but I really don't feel he's needed.
MAN ON!
Lol so true about Soldado Cider. He must have been seething after watching numerous chances in the box against Sunderland. So what do you think about Berba? I think he woukd fit our style perfectly and pairing with Soldado would look a perfect set up? Get him for 5 million, sell Ade and buy a top young forward who is strong and quick and an eye for goal. Son Heung-Min looks perfect! COYS!
James1
…….I'd really hate to see him doing the business for Arsenal though!
MAN ON!
Just had a read of the match thread :-(

This place is seriously beyond comprehension sometimes. WTF do some of you expect? Did this "rock bottom Sunderland", "$hitty Sunderland" or whatever put-down you can think of for them, not put 3 past a VERY experienced, 1st choice Chav defence last weekend? Did they not beat a Hull team that battered Liverpoo recently? Did they not beat a full strength Man City a few short weeks ago? Yet our supposedly "clueless & boring" manager and his "clueless & boring" team, a team without THREE 1st choice centre-backs, just went into their back yard and gave them a lesson. Mistakes aside, the gulf in class was unmissable.

I see players being slagged off in so many of the responses to the match, yet NOBODY had a bad game, not one single player. Even Defoe put in a heck of a shift.
coopsieyid
Lloris - Awful mistake which led to a goal. However, rather than 'crumble', he stood up like a man & conducted the rest of the game with authority and confidence, even when given some very 'sketchy' passbacks.

Walker - Great game, worked tirelessly down that right side, clearly has more confidence, knowing that Lennon will already be in position to cover him if he's too far up the pitch.

Dawson - Did little to nothing wrong, made one massively vital clearance (after a blatant foul on Capoue that wasn't given by the useless Lee Mason) BUT, for the love of God, STOP being so fecking predictable. EVERY time he got the ball lastnight, I'd be thinking to myself "I may as well take a swig of Strongbow now whilst Daws attempts yet another 60 yard pass to the Sunderland fullback".. It's seriously ******** annoying!!

Capoue - Calm, assured, strong, you'd not be ridiculed if, after that performance, you thought CB was his primary position.

Naughton - Constantly slagged off on here, always proclaimed as "not good enough", yet, as far as I'm concerned, he really never does anything wrong. Yesterday, as was the case in most of his previous performances, he was competent, unflappable, kept things simple & was always aware that he may need to get across to cover the somewhat slower Dawson. That's my one gripe, actually. He sometimes seems so preoccupied with Dawson, that he leaves a tad too much room for the winger he's supposed to be marking. Still, I'll not fault the lad for being aware of other players deficiencies.

Lennon - What can you say, always has been, always will be one of the best wingers in the country. A real threat going forwards, EXCELLENT at supporting & backing up his fullback, a genuine team player, without whom we clearly have zero balance. I'm so so glad we have him back, and it's about time more people realised just how lucky we are to have him!!

Dembele - Excellent match, the description that somebody (James1 ?)gave him yesterday evening, was absolutely perfect. "He's like Jonah Lomu, swatting defenders like flies"... He is effortless in his retention of possession, and his confidence appears to be returning with every minute he plays. Long may it continue.

coopsieyid
Paulinho - As seems to be the case with almost everybody else, he's getting better with each game that passes. I still think he'd benefit from a rest, he must be knackered. That said, he's getting into the positions that our other midfielders don't appear to get into, and he's arriving in the box at the right times to be in a position to at least miss 'chances'. His arrival into the box, and reaction to the loose ball, were reminiscent of a fat fella who does the same thing for some Chavs from West London. Nice one, Bezerra Maciel Júnior, we have a goalscoring centre midfielder :-)

Chadli - Had a very good & solid match. Played some lovely football, some lovely interchanging & was more than aware of his defensive duties. His aerial ability is something that is massively underrated, and will prove to be a valuable asset for us in the future.

Holtby - Another who had a very good game. His workrate and willingness to constantly close down the Sunderland back-line, was a pleasure to watch. His right footed screamer was well saved by Mannone, whilst another shot was excellently blocked/closed down, by Wes Brown. Some of Holtby's passing was genuinely exquisite.

Defoe - The REAL surprise package for me. He actually 'put in a shift', and looked like a team player. Yeah he could & should've got a goal or two, but his performance last night was unlike nothing I've ever seen from him before. Massive props to a guy I constantly ridicule for being a selfish basterd. Was actually unlucky to hit the woodwork a couple of times.

Townsend - As many have said on here, he looked significantly more dangerous not only on the left, but after being introduced later in the game to run at a tired bunch of defenders. Another who was foiled by a smart save from Mannone. Nice one, Andros!!

Sandro - What can one say about Sandro, or as I like to call him, Gandalf, because 'Thou shalt not pass'!! Yeah he was lucky not to concede a penalty, but so was Wes Brown when he was showing Dawson what it's like to be a UFC fighter, earleir in the game. It's not Sandro's fault that Lee Mason was truly fecking awful. Anyway, back to Sandro, our 'Beast from Brazil'. Even my wife was sitting next to me laughing her head off, saying "is he just stronger than everyone else, nobody seems to be able to get the better of him". She knows feck all about football, but she knows a beast when she sees one. I can't think of a player I'd rather have on my team when I'm looking to hold on to a narrow lead. Thank you for being a Spurs player, Sandro :-)..

Sigurdsson - Not enough time to have any sort of impact on the game but, like so many other players, did little to nothing wrong.

I've got no doubt there'll still be moans galore, but I'll prefer to sit back and enjoy the positive result and, once again, an improved team performance. COYS
coopsieyid
Cider spurs, Perhaps Berba picking up the Europa League trophy in a Spurs shirt in Turin would go some way for making up for Fergie omitting him from the Champs league final squad... I think however that Berba would choose the team that he felt would give him his best chance of winning some serious silverware. The guy is so super rich already that having a last chance of some real success in what is a very short career, would be the deciding factor! Fulham can't offer him that, so he would scream the Cottage down come January, if they tried to block a move to Tottenham or the Arse! ;-)
Pele10
Cider - Nice report, mate. Seems we watched the same match :-). Striking resemblances in what we both saw & reported, I'm sure it's nothing at all to do with the Cider we were drinking ;-)
coopsieyid
Watching Fulham v Villa atm ... 1-0. Berbatov reminds me a bit of Gilzean!
Geofspurs
Surely that's just the bald patch and the slicked back thatch…..
MAN ON!
Cider... I'm with you there, mate. I just read the posts after the game, but, sometimes I wonder ....! Coopsie, I agree, nobody had a bad game.
Geofspurs
One more thing. This "slow, laboured and boring football" that we have so many moaning about, it's CLEAR to see it works. I get it, it's NOT pretty to watch, but it's no coincidence that, after around 55 minutes, commentators are saying "Tottenham are passing the ball around with much more purpose now". The truth is, we're NOT. The passing is exactly the same, it's just that the opposition have literally ran themselves into the ground, in an attempt to stop us from continuing to pass the ball around. Last night was the most evident occasion of this, in my opinion. Sunderland worked their nads off in the first half, Ki was everywhere, every Sunderland player was attempting to get to the recipient of a Spurs pass, as quickly as possible. It worked well for them BUT, within 10 minutes of the restart, they (Sunderland) were spent. They couldn't close us down any more, we were able to pass the ball quicker & with more freedom. I'm not imagining what I saw, and have seen on multiple occasions from our team, in recent history. It's slow, it's methodical, it's not exciting to watch. However, it will be in time, and, for now, I'll get my excitement from results, and an understanding of what it appears we're working towards.

A few of us have said it now, we ARE looking more familiar with eachother, with every game that passes. So, when we do truly 'click', it promises to be rather exciting. COYS
coopsieyid
Berba at 32...surely that ship has sailed....he's now playing for a new contract. We already have 3 strikers who are over 28..how long a contract would you give Berba?....and how much of that would he actually play?...
shedboy2
Geofspurs, Yes I have always thought Berbatov is the modern day Gilzean, only with a little more hair, a much bigger temper and a much larger bank account! ;-)
Pele10
coopsieyid….Also, following on from what you write, we seem to be very strong and still full of running up to the last minutes…..
MAN ON!
Our timing, for the final stadium sprint in this PL marathon, might just be perfect, and take a few by surprise…...
MAN ON!
shedboy2, I would sign Berba up until the end of the season, with a clause in his contract that he get's a one year contract extension if he scores the winner in the Europa League final and we qualify for the CL. I think that would be a good bit of business, right? ;-)
Pele10
How good am I?! Two correct predictions in a row (3-0). 2 +1 = 3! That's what you can do with stats and a bit of imagination!
Geofspurs
Pele - That's better posting. I think the only thing I'll take issue with, is the bit where you RIGHTLY point out that we got away with a clear penalty, but chose to ignore the equally clear penalty that Sunderland got away with, via Wes Brown 'UFC-ing' Dawson. There was also a kick at Defoe from someone, that could also have been given. The rest of your post was a pleasure to read. I'll be interested to see if one of your usual admirers tells you "spot on as usual Pele" ;-)
coopsieyid
coops....How's it going mate. Hope you enjoyed the match, i thought, like you, it was a cracker. Quite funny to scroll down through the in game match day posts sometimes i feel. Some are man enough to admit they called it wrong, some just disappear. Good game played by all involved yesterday, no excuses, none are required. Sat with a few Man Utd fans and watched the Stoke game, they were miffed to say the least, saying they think they've got the wrong manager, should've got Martinez was their call. I offered them a bit of sympathy, and told them that it was always going to be a transition to fill SAFs boots for whomever got the job. The response was a straight, well how is it Martinez is performing from the off at Everton?. Kind of got what they were saying, but Man Utd is a whole different ball game IMO. I therefore reverted back to the, well maybe your team is just sheit and went and got another drinky poos, and another, and another. Got home for the match, watched with a drunken squint, woke up at 1.30 am and wrote the article. B/%dy good team performance, you know this is the case by the lack of numbers on here today. ;-)
Cider spurs
So what did we really learn from this match that we didn't already know? Very little imo. We know we have good players who are more than a match for the majority of teams in the division and certainly those that are propping it up. Sunderland were dire, employed the wrong tactics against us and we still made hard work of it through poor finishing. Why do we start so slowly ffs. We deserved to win no doubt and yet we still depended on a lucky non-penalty decision to see us home. For once though I couldn't fault the selection or substitutions so well done AVB and the players for sticking to it and grinding it out.
Love totty
MAN ON - We'll ALWAYS be full of running towards the end of a game, because our manager has drilled the team to 'let the ball do the running'. As long as we continue to play as we are, only the likes of Holtby & Lennon are likely to be knackered towards the end of the game, but we have more than adequate replacements for them, as we do for most players within our excellent young squad :-).
coopsieyid
Must agree coops in relation to the tactics and possession post. Very fair assessment of how it was utilised yesterday and the space it created as the game progressed. We ran them ragged with our passing, yes they might not always be forward, but it certainly drains players energy wherever they are chasing the leather, it serves a purpose, some equate this to doing nothing with the ball, i suggest it does 2 positive things. (1)..If we retain possession they cannot score. (2)...We knacker them out and exploit the gaps that will appear as a result. Clever, i think, frustrating at times to witness, but effective at times nonetheless. I think AVB got his team spot on yesterday, Sunderland two up top allowed for tinkering in MF which worked a treat. Defoe could have scored a hat trick so that must be considered a shrewd move reinstalling him as striker, and as you say Naughton did everything that was asked of him, although AVBs hand may have been forced on that one.
Cider spurs
Holtby and Lennon ran their socks off. Walker never seems to tire and Sandro is not the sole beast of our midfield! They were all a beastly bunch yesterday…..
MAN ON!
Cider, does one contribution in one game from Chadli make him worth his place in the starting 11? He was better yesterday from a very low starting point, its a step in the right direction for him. IMO Townsend carried as much threat in the minutes he was on the pitch compared to the minutes Chadli was on the pitch and he should start left wide ahead of Chadli with Lennon right side. Feet on the ground we just beat two sides away from home at a struggle who are bottom and 3rd from bottom. One might say we should be expecting to do that. I sure as well do expect us to beat bottom three sides home and away and so would all the top 4 clubs management team with ambition. The upside is we have created more clear chances in these last two games, but we gave a lot up against Fulham, I guess again shouldnt we create more chances again bottom 3?. The downside is more injuries leaving us very exposed at the back centrally. Dawson really should not be starting as good as his attitude is.
tophobunty1882
Tottenham Hotspur 6 V Chiriches Knee Injury no return date; J Vertonghen Ankle/Foot Injury no return date; E Adebayor Knee Injury no return date (He was listed last week as a ankle/foot injury his starting to make my eyes bleed) Oh how I hope we can get shot of him in January. H Kane Back Injury no return date; C Eriksen Ankle/Foot Injury 22nd Dec 13; D Rose Ankle/Foot Injury 15th Dec 13 ( His injury has been going on longer then Eastenders)
spu 4 life
i am not sure Soldado is a better penalty taker than Berba so i think we should buy back the ever so slightly more talented Berba and try to get 2000 (two thousand) of our 26 million back on Soldado
tophobunty1882
I'm off to do my best impersonation of an ageing Pat Jennings before the Arse'n'all match! See you later.
MAN ON!
Pele10 - That fecking ENIC curse, making blatant penalties not be given against us, and giving us own goals that ultimately give us 3 points ;-)
coopsieyid
tophobunty1882…..Dawson was imperious yesterday!
MAN ON!
Liverpool 5. S Gerrard Hamstring Injury no return date; D Agger Illness no return date; D Sturridge Ankle/Foot Injury 28th Jan 14; J Enrique Knee Injury Feb 1; S Coates ACL Knee Injury May 14
spu 4 life
……and Chadli was bloody good too!
MAN ON!
Of course we wish no ill to Suarez meanwhile…..
MAN ON!
I rather he was impervious, Man ON! :)
Love totty
Cider - Sounds like you had a cracking time :-). Your Man Utd mates need to take into account that Fergie WAS LITERALLY MAN UTD. To get over him stepping down as manager is going to take years. The laughable thing about it all is, those supporters who are unhappy with Moyes, are unhappy with a choice made by the greatest manager in their history, and possibly in world history. He (Ferguson) knows his football, he knows that club better than anyone, so those 'supporters' would do well to take that into account before writing Moyes off.

As for us & our football, I think it's clear to see everything you & I are speaking about, it's just that some people refuse to acknowledge it, because it doesn't suit their agenda. As you can now see, one person is sticking true to form, and is the ONLY member to not acknowledge the performance of Chadli, whilst also totally ignoring VERY recent results achieved by the team we beat yesterday. Quelle surprise!!
coopsieyid
Cider, lloris should never had gone for that, walker had it covered, very bad mistake
tophobunty1882
coopsieyid, I can't wait for you write... "That fecking ENIC curse, making blatant penalties not be given against us, and giving us own goals that ultimately gives us CL football and the Europa League trophy! " Only then will I believe that the dark curse of ENIC has been lifted... Why? Because the dark side often seduces before it strikes... But as you know I do regular prayers to the archangel Bill Nicholson for the ENIC curse to lifted! So hopefully we will all be doing a 'curse free' glory glory knees up in Turin... ;-)
Pele10
MAN ON - Chadli, Dawson, Capoue, name them all, mate. They all had a good game yesterday, but Chadli, Holtby, Kapoue, Lennon, Paulinho, Dembele, Defoe & Walker, were that bit better than Naughton, Lloris, Dawson and Naughton. I also don't recall our injuries resulting in us being left exposed at any point yesterday?
coopsieyid
LOL Pele - You are a genuine character, I'll give you that much fella lol
coopsieyid
topho...One contribution?, what were you, getting another tinnie out the fridge when Chadli played a ball through to Lennon who crossed for Defoe who shot wide?. As you say it's a step in the right direction. Crikey!!!, imagine how good he may become after he reaches the grand milestone of 10 premier league starts for Tottenham. He played well yesterday, he is a talent, he cost circa £7 million. He has played but a few games thus far. You deem him not good enough. Verts was singing his praises last week because of all the good work he did going back to help. You may feel this is not what a winger is all about, that there prime objective should be attack. guess what, i agree, but i can also see that Chadli does not have a lightning quick WB making overlapping runs to give him an outball, that he has had to help defensively as a result of injuries and the pace of Valencia. naughton yesterday had one eye on Dawson to help him, chadli had to have one eye on Naughton to help him. Let's try and judge Chadli when he is allowed to concentrate more on the attack elements of his game, injuries mean he has had to focus more on the team as a whole as opposed to his individual game. he has helped the team admirably, and at 6' 2" i'd suggest a low starting point is way of the mark.
Cider spurs
OFF TOPIC but this is what our dear bubble blowing neighbours from the east will have to put up with when they move to their gleaming new stadium:

http://imageshack.us/a/img21/7827/lpp9.jpg

The Hammers' spin machine will have to go into overdrive to sell this to the fans.
coopsieyid
ManOn if Dawson yesterday makes you feel good, that's fine for you. He does nothing for me at the level I want us to be. Same applies to Chadli but he has time to improve.
tophobunty1882
Shedboy .. I'd give Berba one year ... he is starring against Villa as I write! He just scored a penalty.
Geofspurs
Everton win or a draw???, where we at with this one?.
Cider spurs
Cider I am very confident Paulinho will come good, I'm also confident either Lamela or Soldado will also be stars, probably not both but if 2 and of 3 become top players will be quids in and a £100m well spent - it's all about the business end if the season anyway, a lot to look forward to.

Coopsie spot on with Lennon, people only appreciate him when he's been injured and out the team for a while, the difference he makes doesn't do his reputation justice. Some people say he doesn't score enough goals but if he was that quick, that good and scored goals he's be playing for Barcelona.
T.H.F.Chris
Cider well done you found another contribution, Chadli was better yesterday but he was awful before, a long way to go to keep more threatening players out of the side. we have enough sideways and backwards protectors for two sides, we dont need another and that is all he has been todate. Yesterday in my opinion Chadli went from awful to average, so it's positive prgress. I dont see Chadli playng for Arsenal, Chelsea Man City or possibly not even Liverpool or United. If he steps up that would be greate for THFC. I hope he does.
tophobunty1882
We have the Groundsman of the year :-)

http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/news/darren-wins-groundsman-of-year-award-061213/
coopsieyid
Topho when you have got Caupe playing centre back you know you NEED Michael Dawson. I am with you regarding Chadli, no idea what AVB sees in him I can only hope I'm blind.
T.H.F.Chris
Pele10, good to see you lavishing praise where it is due. I have seen this coming from Defoe for a while now, and have said as much a few times that his game has changed and he is far less selfish. Also his movement off the ball is a lot better now than it has been for a while. It seems like he has got new life in him because he is having to learn new ways which has rekindled his desire and passion for the game and the way it's played.
chrishove123
We must of one the grounsman of the year a few times now lately?. Did we not win it a couple of years on the trot a few seasons ago??.
Cider spurs
topho...chadli rose well a couple of times and had 2 headers on target. Seek and you shall find. Knowledge is power. ;-) Before we right Chadli off, can we not appreciate that Townsend had a run of 10 games to see what he could produce, would it really be fair not to afford Chadli the same?.
Cider spurs
If I may partake in the Berbatov stuff. We CONSTANTLY have moaning about our slow build up play, and now some of you guys are wanting to sign a striker who is renowned for such?

Do you not remember Ferguson publicly stating why ManU stopped playing him? He was slowing down their counter attacking.

Come on, make your bloody minds up. You either hate the way we're playing, or you want to embrace it & buy a striker that would suit it down to the ground, for a year or so, whilst his legs still work. He's 33 next month, how much longer do you expect him to go on for?

My opinion, I don't want him anywhere near our club. He went on strike to force a move to United, he talked to them without our permission. He made his bed & he can fecking well lay in it!!
coopsieyid
Would rather have berbatov than Benteke at the moment, keep not scoring in games and his price might reduce.
Kong
Then again, We should bring him back to play in the legends tournament, his strolling around the pitch will fit in perfectly.
coopsieyid
Also, The reason he worked so well with Keane, is Keane did all the legwork. Play him in our current set up and he'll be no different to Soldado. Maybe a bit better but not much.
coopsieyid
chris ... Defoe's not offside so much either ... reading the play and timing his runs better now. Cider ... I'd prefer Arsenal to win. They are a cert for the top four, imo, so I want them to take points from all our competitors
Geofspurs
I watched the game last night, really enjoyed it, thought we played with a faster tempo throughout. Really nice interchanging between the 3 central midfielders, I thought they all played superbly. We created a lot of chances and should have scored more than our 2, but some wasteful finishing from JD and Pauli kept S'land interested 'til the last. At the back, pretty solid, Capoue, very nice surprise, played well, Dawson was pretty solid throughout, and more than likely saved a certain goal with his clearance at the end. Naughton, also did well, and Walker had one of his best games this season. Up front, JD was superb and really should have scored at least twice. For me, he brings more sharpness and pace up front than Soldado at the moment. Pauli missed a couple of sitters, but was impressive. I thought Townsend's cameo at the end was great, he should have had at least two assists. Overall, one of our best performances since the first half of the Chelsea game. There's definitely for me anyway been a change in the THFC approach to games since the Newcastle match. I think AVB is instilling a need for a greater tempo in the play, coupled with a less risk averse approach, and it is paying off. Better understanding in the CM department between players now, we hopefully should kick on. Sterner test next week, however control MF against L'pool and we should keep Suarez quiet.
Cleveland ARTSPURS
T.H.F.Chris...Just for you mate, alittle link to help you regain your vision. Blind would be an understatement ;-) Check out the chip, the curled effort soon after is not too shabby either. Before we get all the "it's only Dutch League". All types of goals were scored and alot with a great deal of confidence and skill. Some will choose or cannot see this, concentrating only on him being a supposed dud. Myself, i believe the lad has a great knack of finishing and would actually like to see him start in the hole. Anyway, worth a look...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNNrkpVHaaM
Cider spurs
Berbetov is better than Soldado. Much.
tophobunty1882
Feck, even Messiah Hoddle & clueless Redknapp (the junior clueless one) are able to acknowledge yesterdays performance as a good one!! What Hoddle says is important, right? Probably best to not read the United result, though. Sky Sports 'reporting' at it's best lol

Jamie Redknapp says the win over Sunderland proved Tottenham are capable of playing the type of football their fans demand.

Source: Sky Sports

Andre Villas-Boas was criticised following the 6-0 thrashing by Manchester City two weeks ago, but his players responded with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United and away victories at Fulham and the Stadium of Light.

Redknapp, who played for Spurs from 2002-2005, says Tottenham's passing and movement has been too slow at times this season but saw a vast improvement in the second-half on Saturday Night Football.

He said: "On the balance of play I thought the second-half was as good as I've seen Tottenham play for a long time.

"That's what the fans want to see. They want to see chances created and moving the ball as fast as possible. That's exactly what they did in the second-half. It was a classy performance, but there should have been more goals.

"It's been a great week for Tottenham. They are a point better off this season than they were after the same amount of games last season.

"People say there's not a spirit at the club, but you don't come back from behind against Fulham and come back from behind against Sunderland unless you have something about you as a team.

"I think you have to congratulate them for that, especially after that 6-0. Villas-Boas didn't like it at the time, but when you spend £100million and get beat 6-0 you have to accept some stick because the team didn't perform to the level that they can.

"At times the football wasn't at the level that Tottenham fans expect, but today especially in the second-half there were signs of a vast improvement."

Opened:
Glenn Hoddle praised the performances of goalscorer Paulinho and Mousa Dembele and says he wants to see both players performing at a higher level on a more consistent basis.

And the former Spurs midfielder and manager insists the team have the ability to overwhelm opponents once they get their noses in front.

Hoddle said: "Once the game opened up in the second-half and got the second goal, that's when Spurs can play at a tempo that you saw them play.

"They outnumbered Sunderland and Sunderland had all the problems then. When a team play against them and leave two up there's a lot of open spaces. Spurs will punish you; they have the ability to do that.

"When a lot of teams play against Spurs they don't play that way. They back up against them and they find it hard to create.

"If Paulinho could finish he'd be on the same amount of goals as Aaron Ramsey. He'd be on eight or nine goals by now because he gets in fantastic positions. He played a bit deeper today.

"They need to get Dembele higher up the pitch where his ability can hurt the other team. He showed that today.

"There's a lot of things they can improve on."
coopsieyid
Jesus! Half an an hour kicking a ball around on the park and I feel like I need 6 months on the treatment table! Still, I'm sure I showed more fighting spirit than Berba would if he was back at Spurs! I wrote a few days ago that I'd rather see Dempsey and Keane back in January. At least they're both team players! To be really honest I'd prefer to see one of our young up and coming guys than a poor reminder of the great Alan Gilzean…… :-)
MAN ON!
Furthermore, following on from Mr Hoddle's opinion, Paulinho DOES score goals for Brazil, as he did whilst playing in Brazil. He is still adjusting to the Premier League, the game is so different than in Brazil. Undoubtedly though he is a class player and I predict he'll be one of the top ten players of the season. Good analysis by Hoddle, and I'm glad (yet bloody surprised) that Redknapp is complimenting Spurs.
coopsieyid
Geof...Arsenal winning makes sense..However, i could not bring myself to offer them my hope in securing 3 points.
Cider spurs
Options of the new year striker? Now MSL Breaks so how about Dempsey coming on loan, but does that only last until March? Bertbatov keeps coming up and his agent says he wants out of Fulham, he plays in the same way now as he did when he joined us, his footballing brain is light years ahead of most and has pictures in his head, as to what is going to happen, before he receives the ball, still has a fantastic first touch, is he a better option at 32? Buying someone long term, Benteke looks out of love with Aston Villa, his not scored for a few games, so he would fit in well here, but how long would that last before he starts knocking them in, the same can be said for Soldado, who will come good. I'm certain something will happen in January regards to our striker situation, perhaps the kid from Madrid, but then that's another youngster into a different culture Álvaro Morato says he wants to stay in spain and I don't blame him. We should just go out and buy Falcao and be done with it, problem solved.
spu 4 life
Coopsie now you like Hoddle's comments, when I used them previously you slaughtered him, remember? Interesting.
tophobunty1882
MAN ON!...Those cricket balls hurt when you kick them don't they?. ;-) I would'nt kick one personally, but hats off to you, half an hour is a good effort. Maybe a football next time?, get your letter in quick i think santa's taking orders.
Cider spurs
Coopsie - your post above about our "slow, laboured, boring football" - that is top marks fella! It looks like avb knows exactly what he is doing. He is being very intentional and deliberate about our style of play. It might appear to be slow, laboured and boring but it is designed to wear the opposition down and to open floodgates when they become tired. His big problem is trying to convince the spurs faithful that this is what it will take to be successful since our tradition has always been style, flair, speed, great passing in midfield and we are reknowned for always having had strikers who could score fantastic goals. I take my hat off to avb, having previously dubbed his brand of football as "stinky footy". To be fair, in many ways it is still stinky, but it is stinky with the purpose of being invincible...as soon as the players start to gel and click. I kinda like the idea of invincible footy. It has potential to gatecrash the elite and win the best trophies on offer. An that's what we all would like our team to do...sooner rather than later. Thank You, Andre Villas Boas.
neymar
MAN ON, you need to pack that in, your do yourself a long term injury, I get out of breath these days running a bath.
spu 4 life
Yeah, I get out of breath getting out of bed and lighting up a fag!
MAN ON!
MAN ON - Ice your thighs, then soak in a nice HOT bath, then get the missus to give you a nice rub (on the legs, you filthy bugger), you'll feel right as rain in the morning ;-).. As for your point about Berbatov, I concur. That said, he 'could' be excellent for the likes of Kane. Still wouldn't want him, though. We should be looking for the next Berbatov, not throwing money at the current one.
coopsieyid
It has to be 0-0 in the Everton match………I still insanely believe we're title contenders!
MAN ON!
Not yet read article do that later getting ready to watch arsenal. Just wanted to ask what do people prefer draw, or win either way?
WorldPeace
Kong - Couldn't agree more. Soldado gets slagged off because he's only scored 4 PL goals, 3 of which have come from the spot, yet he is completely new to the Premier League, playing alongside a third of a newly integrating squad, yet is still on a total of 6 goals from 15 appearances. Compare that to Benteke, a guy who is PL seasoned, and in a familiar team, in a country he's settled in, yet still only has 4 PL goals, 2 of which came from the penalty spot in one game (against Arseanal, I believe?), and only has 5 goals over-all, from 13 appearances. I also believe it's something like 7 or 8 games without scoring a goal now? That's around 20% of an entire season, but, to some, that's excusable. As far as I'm aware, Soldado has not had such a barren spell in the PL? Go figure!!
coopsieyid
I think it was martin keown who took a swipe recently at paulinho, saying he cannot see why we paid so much money for him because he isn't really that good. What a terd! Some of these ex players really need to have a good, long, hard look at themselves and think about what they say before they open their yaps. It's as if they are so afraid of us that it is in their nature to put us down before we can get any momentum because if we do then it threatens the dominance of their beloved ex clubs.
neymar
Who has said i like Hoddle's comments? I posted them because they debunk almost everything that poster has to say, not because i believe him. The same guy was slagging us & our manager off last week FFS.
coopsieyid
Now you're all just taking the ***** out of a middle aged man. Abuse Alert! As for the rubbing stuff, does anyone still use horse oil? That stuff reeked, but did the job! I'm still not bad between the sticks though... Lloris? I would have caught that ball one handed, no problem!
MAN ON!
Anyone find it strange that Capoue has played at centre back once for us and looks a better centre back than Dawson?
Bernio Villas-Spuras
neymar - Glad you're able to look outside of the current picture. There's a few of us on here who have seen it for quite a while, and can't wait for it to 'click' It's coming, it really is & it's clear to see ;-). As for Keown, he's no different to the 2 clowns who are quoted in the article I posted from Sky Sports. Both of them were slagging off Paulinho, AVB & THFC last week, and now the contradictory ****wits are spouting the complete opposite, lol.
coopsieyid
Someone on a thread, (I'm not going through them all to find out who and when) about Pauli scoring wen he doesn't have to think, but when he does that's when he fails. Now, if you take our much maligned 'keeper Gomes he has the same problem, I tried highlighting this a long while back about Gomes, he can do the most spectacular saves, pull off the almost impossible and get to where he shouldn't be able to. BUT if he has to think about a long high looping ball and has to think about it he has so many options he can't make his mind up until it is too late, the main problem with him, and I hope it doesn't come to light that Pauli has it too, is that he IS so good that the really simple slow trickly type balls or the simple save makes him complacent in his arrogance. He'll just go onto auto pilot for that and if anything slightly untoward happens, thats it, goal scored against.
chrishove123
MAN ON - Never used horse oil. Is it anything like 'Fiery Jack'? As for "middle aged man", FECK OFF, you're old ;-) lol
coopsieyid
Coopsie - Looks like our opinions on Berbatov are very different, and that won't change .... that's football!
Geofspurs
We is us.
ledders77
neymar "it is designed to wear the opposition down and to open floodgates when they become tired" Very true, but there is a massive psychological aspect to it as well, when we retain so much possession and no matter what they do they very rarely get the ball they get frustrated , and that's when they start to lose it slightly and commit niggly little fouls which get paid back with interest, so they other side gets angry and starts to do stupid thing and stop thinking, by that time, tired, frustrated and angry, they are ready for the slaughter.
chrishove123
Anyone wanting anyone in particular in the FA Cup? Apparently it (The FA Cup) returns to The BBC next season :-)
coopsieyid
good point there chrishove
ledders77
Ah a trip to Arseanal, lol
coopsieyid
coopsie do you spend you entire life trying to debunk what other posters say? It appears you take so much time trying to prove other people wrong.
tophobunty1882
Did I just hear that right? Arsenal v Spurs in the FA cup?
MAN ON!
I did!
MAN ON!
100% agree coopsie, soldado is having a better season than Benteke and that is saying something. For someone who creates goals for himself Benteke isn't doing a good job is he, very poor this season. soldado will come good, Benteke can't get worse :)
Kong
Arsenal Spurs in the FA Cup haha
ledders77
Did you not say this Coopsie? "Good analysis by Hoddle",
tophobunty1882
Everton are playing well…….
MAN ON!
Geof - Nothing wrong with differing opinions, mate. It's having the ability to share differing opinions, whilst still being able to acknowledge there's a genuine person on the other end of the opposing opinion. That's what makes you such a special person :-)
coopsieyid
Kong, the chances of Benteke repeating the amazing season he had last season in the same struggling team was highly unlikely. He was injured early on for 3-4 games and really hasnt played well since. He has much more time on his side against Soldado. This will run and we will all see as the season develops. Soldado hasnt been dropped because he has been repaying his 26 million, he has been very poor and a huge disappointment. He needs to come good else its a huge waste of money, we wont get half of it back in 12 months if this continues.
tophobunty1882
Nice and easy fa cup draw
Kong
As for our FA Cup draw, First off, surely such a draw will almost guarantee our match is televised? Secondly, depending on how they're doing in the league, it could turn out to be a very decent draw indeed. If that gap stays as it is, Wenger will not want to risk allowing it to dwindle, via key players getting injured in a cup match. Yes they want (need) silverware, but the PL title will probably be the best silverware they're likely to win this season. I can't see them being able to go for more than the PL, whilst also still in the CL.
coopsieyid
Topho - you make good points but I am supporting soldado to come good not Benteke so hopefully Benteke continues his bad form.
Kong
Would be sweet to get the Gooners out of the way nice and early…...
MAN ON!
Do we get 9,000 tickets? Rules say yes but they said that for the Carling too and they managed to avoid it on safety grounds.
coopsieyid
LMAO.....I am pleased that posters on here are now realising, what I have been saying for 3 months now... AVB will get our players performing better, and over Xmas & New Yr, into the business end of the season, we will see a much improved understanding and play. Coopise, a good reveiw you posted.. COYS
Block D Spurs
By far the biggest game of the round, so probably either Saturday 3rd Jan at 5.30pm, or Sunday 4th at 1.30pm.
coopsieyid
Another trophy Arsenal cant win now
matt hoten
Should have had a mention of the negative minnies posters, but we all know who they are..
Block D Spurs
Chrishovel- I think I quite like avb's idea of making our opponents tired, frustrated and angry. We should try it on poo this coming weekend. Suarez might get so frustrated that he will gnash out at someone! That should see him sit out a month or so and scupper their top 4 hopes.
neymar
Never been to the Emirates, but I'll certainly fancy it for the FA Cup.
MAN ON!
Still 0-0 at emirates. BTW, that FA Cup third round draw with the scum looks tasty!
neymar
FA Cup 3rd round, well we won't have to worry about finding stream for that one, Man Utd away jan 1st, then the cup game, happy days !!!!
spu 4 life
Did you not say this Coopsie? "Good analysis by Hoddle",

Umm, NO, NO I DIDN'T, lol.
coopsieyid
Block D - "Coopise, a good reveiw you posted.. ".... I only make good posts ;-)
coopsieyid
Martin Keown, the face of football or should that be the face of a football, he has the looks of the old style football, the difference being the old one had a lace through it.
spu 4 life
Kong will would still sign Bentke in January. BlockD we just beat 2 bottom 3 sides 2-1....lets keep feet on the ground, we can start believing more if we beat Liverpool next week, little by little. Lets beat a decent side first at least.
tophobunty1882
That old Gooners team…….Keown, Merson etc; Or the Adams family, as I fondly remember.
MAN ON!
Coopsie """Geof - Nothing wrong with differing opinions, mate. It's having the ability to share differing opinions, whilst still being able to acknowledge there's a genuine person on the other end of the opposing opinion. That's what makes you such a special person :-) coopsieyid Read more: http://www.spurs.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=7516179#ixzz2mu3DXnDE ................................with the above in mind Coopsie, why do you spend so much of your time so often trying to prove other people 's opinions wrong? Also you have over the years asked for a number of people to be banned for having a different opinion from you which developed into long running spats because of you repeatedly cutting and pasting things from all over the net to prove the others opinion wrong? Are you not the biggest hypocrite on here? along with being the most manipulative of other people? along with the person who holds the current record for asking OX to ban other users who dare to have a different opinion to you?.....oh and hows you and yours?
tophobunty1882
LMFAO, STILL not able to practice what it preaches, Quelle Surprise!
coopsieyid
Only got iPhone out here cider and link doesn't show apple... Sure he has done well in Holland but I've not seen it in a spurs yet. Hope he comes good but the Dutch league is different mate, loads more time and no pressure from premiership defenders... We'll see bit for now I'd be playing Lamela every game ahead of Chadli.
T.H.F.Chris
God OLD Brad Friedel - https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/p480x480/1467251_769819933035187_485379106_n.jpg
coopsieyid
avoiding the truth again Coopsie? how many people have you asked Ox to ban over the years Coopsie?
tophobunty1882
I think that'll do me for today, boys & girls. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening, condolences sent to those who have less to moan about this weekend, chin up :-) COYS
coopsieyid
Well it's happened. The much improved performances of late have been belittled because they were only against supposed inferior opposition. you know that crappy Utd who just brushed aside Leverkusen 5-0, the Fulham who themselves have improved immensely since the unfortunate sacking of Martin Jol, Sunderland who only put 3 past City the other day. We must not dare get carried away with this, we must wait until we play anyone of note. Oh, hold on, surely Fulham beating Stoke, who beat Chelsea stands for something. Sunderland scoring 3 against Chelsea, beat city and Newcastle, add to this a draw with Southampton. yes, must agree, well rubbish are'nt they?. LMFAO!!. Never enough for some is it?, Yes Fulham and Sunderland are in the bottom three, does not guarantee we'll beat them, and it certainly should not undermine our performances. Yes a sense of realism maybe at times, but can we not have a mixture of appreciation and optimism as a result of performances when warranted as opposed to the what's so great they are crap type posts. Advice for free, if we lost we would be considered crap, and many would take delight it appears at posting as much, well we did'nt lose, we played b/oody well and secured the three points against teams that on any given day are quite capable of beating "real test Opponents". happy days....Not crappy Daze!!.
Cider spurs
Coopsieyid do you think Berba would be a backward step if we signed him? Not sure what Fergie means about Berba slowing down the counter. .I can only assume he means he holds on to the ball for far too long? I long for a Sheringham type player to play in other players and I think Berbatov's guile would help rather than hinder. COYS!
James1
*Chelsea..3 past Chelsea*
Cider spurs
That bold from wenger! It's only the 68th min and he subs ramsey, cazorla and wishere.
neymar
away to the gooners in FA CUP.
longtimespur
All this talk about needing either a good "footballing" striker or a pacey striker is a bit odd. Can we not just try and get Remy in the summer? Quick enough to keep up with Lennon and Townsend for crosses, and to get on the end of through balls (unlike Soldado). He is also a very decent finisher. And on top of that, have you seen some of the football he has been playing? At times looks like a very accomplished play-maker, threading in through balls.
Stevenage Hotspur
Yeah Cider, who would have believed that scoreline? Where is that HGH Magic? Hiding are we? Pure magic that scoreline..pure magic ;) COYS!
James1
Good shout Stevenage Hotspur. Very good player indeed. COYS!
James1
Walker, Dawson, Defoe and Townsend. Four players that wouldn't be my first choice and four players that had good games yesterday, Townsend didn't get a lot of time but I liked his contribution. What I like is the good competition for the starting line up and that players know that if they perform they will be playing and if not I'm sure AVB will explain the reason why not, tactical, condition or whatever. I like our team spirit, a bit more work on the gel.
ItalianYiddo
Cool equaliser!
MAN ON!
has hodgeson got the testicles to play Barclay?...outstanding player
tophobunty1882
Well done Everton, Totty you may be right!
ItalianYiddo
Yikes! The whinger makes bold subs and lo and behold they score 1-0 to the scum. Hate to admit but our neighbours looking pretty solid this season.
neymar
Bit late with mine, thought it was odd that not being on here yet.
longtimespur
Goody! Everton equiliser! 83rd min
neymar
Wow, that was some shot! Another good result for us…...
MAN ON!
James1....HGH Magic will be reminded of his teams loss to Stoke. We have no need to hunt him down, nor visit their trampy little spew ridden site ;-). He'll show up here in due course no doubt. Have a feeling he won't be staying long. The all conquering Chelsea. Yeah, stick that one in the rubbish Christmas cracker joke pile.
Cider spurs
two points gained over arsenal, everton and city and three over utd and chelsea this weekend, so good weekend for us.
WorldPeace
Just a reminder to everyone…..We are only 3 points off 2nd place. Not all bad is it, and our best is yet to come.
MAN ON!
Very true worldpeace, a win against pool and confidence will take us to the next level. Hard not impossible, COYS.
ItalianYiddo
Awesome first half display, Italian. And the determination to equalise too. To think we murdered them at Goodison first half, shows what we are capable of.
Love totty
and the other manager hist back by introducing a genuine talent we should have snapped up on loan, what a progressive talent Martinez is.
tophobunty1882
Just watching a news report about match fixing from Portsmouth players for cash………You have to be one greedy ******** on their wages!
MAN ON!
Man on, come on now don't get all positive now, you will be shot down! Are you going to the Liverpool game?
ItalianYiddo
ItalianYiddo, Hi, yeah I'll be at the Liverpool game. Really looking forward to it now……….What about yourself?
MAN ON!
70.000 for a red card! 6 weeks wages?
MAN ON!
I was thinking the same LT, Everton couldn't get out of their own half that first half. we are not a million miles away. Still think we will invest in a LB and forward in January, our two weak areas at the mo, even though I think Soldado will start scoring soon.
ItalianYiddo
Man on, I will be too, will be a cracking game, I like Rodgers and I'm intrigued in how he will set his team up, personally I think they will sit tight and try and hit us on the counter.
ItalianYiddo
we lose a couple it's all doom and gloom - we win a couple it's all smiles...The underlying issues haven't changed -we do still need to fix LB and Striker and we're pretty thin at CB at the moment! A nice friendly against Anzhi before a couple of tricky games in pool and Saints...let's get a CB or two back hope Rose can come back and play up to the reputation that has grown whilst he's been away...bottom line is we need to get some business done early in the transfer window or we'll miss out on top4...
shedboy2
agree Shed
tophobunty1882
If we can keep Suarez quiet, (is that possible?), then I'm sure we can beat them. Rodgers has certainly got them playing some good football.
MAN ON!
………...can't see it being 0-0 somehow..
MAN ON!
So we've got le arse in the 3rd round.
chrishove123
Away.
chrishove123
Just came back from Winter Wonderland (Be prepared to have your wallet lightened significantly if you ever go) to see we have drawn the scum in the 3rd round away. Would rather have played them a bit later but none the less, should be a cracker ;) COYS
spurfect one
shedboy - I agree that the underlying issues still remain, but there were signs of progress in the second half against Sunderland and in patches against Fulham. We've been creating chances, clear cut chances, inside the area, which means we're starting to create more in the final third. We were a couple of inches away from a Defoe brace and there we provided the service which Defoe and Soldado have been craving. Obviously, the bigger test is against better opposition and we need to work hard on finishing a higher percentage of these chances, but we're making progress. A lot of people's concerns weren't with where we are in the league or how many points we'd claimed, it was the style of play which was alarming. Win, lose or draw we were terrible to watch and it seemed like the same syndrome as last season, relying on long shots (or this season penalties) to break down opposing teams. Hopefully we're starting to see a resurgence and that spark will ignite something.
Bernio Villas-Spuras
Topho, I am pretty sure you will agree that (judging by the results in the PL so far), there is no gimme game. The way results are panning out, it does not matter whether you are playing Arsenal or Sunderland. EVERY team is out to get a result. So imo, the wins against Sunderland and Fulham are well worth rejoicing. Even more so if those results form the basis of a good run, a confidence builder if you like. I wouldn’t be surprised if those wins helped AVB to view things differently. After that miserable score line against City, this mini run is a real boost. If we can grab the opportunity against Liverpool, we should be motoring. COYS!

BTW, I was very pleased to see the lads embracing each other after the win y’day. Some may suggest it embarrassing (as if we won the league), but only they know what they have been through of late and THEY appreciate the TEAM effort that has gone in to the win. COYS!
Critical_Spur
Big game v liverpool next week. With arse away to city too the top of the table could close right up. Rest players in midweek apart from those needing a game for match sharpness and/or confidence. Lets also get some players off the treatment table. We going to need the full squad over the next few weeks.
StillRickyVilla
Critical, i dont quite see it your way, we didnt beat United at home, two teams have since beat them away and then we beat two bottom 3 sides which we should expect to win, it must be harder to beat arsenal away than sunderland away or those two teams would have the same points if it was equally hard to beat each. Its better than losing, but let's beat a good side like Liverpool and then go beat another in Southampton, then we can start believing some corner has been turned. We have taken a small step, lets try a bigger one. They say you stay up if we beat teams in the bottom 3, progress.
tophobunty1882
Great result against Sunderland and nice to see AVB not play the usual inverted wingers tactic. Hoping we get the result against Liverpool next week having rose back will be a massive boost. Rest up all the first team for the europa game since we are guarantied top and will be ready to give Liverpool a beating.
Rapm
Slightly off-topic, but related to Everton. Do you think Barcelona would be inclined to sell Deulofeu? I mean, he has only made a handful of first-team appearances, and despite making a break-through in 2011, he has since gone on to play predominately for the Barcelona B side. Not only is he only 19, he seems to have the pace of Townsend, Lennon etc. combined with a genuine technically ability which I still feel Townsend has yet to show. And he has adapted to the premier league relatively quickly too, especially when you compare him to Lamela, for example. What makes it more impressive is the fact he is on loan, playing in a foreign country for the first time. A situation which tends to prevent the vast majority of players from flourishing. Just a query.
Stevenage Hotspur
If Rose is fit he should get some game time before the Liverpool game. I also think Soldado should have some minutes see if he comes back fresh and eager to impress.

Arsenal today were tested and they looked ordinary at times, Shearer is right they haven't played the top teams yet and today was a good Everton team and they didn't impress as much as they have been doing, if they lose against City then I think we will see some cracks in the Arsenal game although I think they are still a good team and doing well and will do well.

So many teams dropping points this season and there is all to play for. We are still in it and I think if we can beat Liverpool I am confident we can beat Southampton and have a good run. For me I feel happy we have won the last two games coming back from behind, but still see were we need to improve and I am not buying into this 'we should beat the bottom two and we haven't been tested' because imo there are not really any easy games in the PL this is why all the top teams are dropping points.
WorldPeace
Liverpool is definitely the game to win. Southampton seem to be dropping off the pace a bit now. Good win Sunday ... it's always tough playing the bottom team; always a banana skin!
Geofspurs
Rumour is Gerard will miss 1 month to hamstring. Not sure if this is official yet. If thats true, Liverpool & Suarez will miss incredible set piece deliveries & ball from CM. He has been phenomenal this season. Most of Suarez, Sturridge goals have come through his passes. Surely, if they are going to have midfield of Lucas-Henderson-Allen, our midfield trip Sandro-Paulinho-Dembele should over power them. May be only way to keep Liverpool quiet is to keep their midfield quiet. Hull contained Liverpool, so can we.
sydqcb5
WorldPeace, next up Arsenal face Chelsea & City - Even if they draw the 2 games- they drop a minimum 4 points. Arsenal, Liverpool, City, Chelsea -all play atleast 3 top 8 teams before end of the year. We only play Liverpool & Southampton. Other 4 games are Stoke & WestBrom in league, Wetspam in cup & a dead rubber Anzhi next week. Ideally, the 4 teams are bound to drop point as they play each other. So, if we get even a draw against Liverpool & win the other 3 games, by end of december, we could gain a minimum 4 to 6 points. If we can somehow get 3 points over Liverpool, that would be awesome. It is a crucial period; I hope we keep up the momentum & put some points on board.
sydqcb5
6 more games this month; 5 at home and 1 away to Southampton. Should win the Europa game without even trying so there's no pressure there. The others are all winnable apart from Liverpool where anything could happen. Just watched the Sunderland game again ... Lennon, Walker, Holtby, were brilliant. Townsend had a fantastic 15 minutes, too. Everyone else played extremely well! There were some great chances created in the box - which we've been lacking, so that is a very encouraging sign. Team spirit looks fine and AVB seems to have a comfortable relationship with all the players. Looking good!
Geofspurs
syd..just got on the computer to log off and close down before making my way to Heathrow..Singapore and NZ. Yours was a great "last post" to read and lets hope things pan out as you say they could! I will follow with interest!
jacobslad
Looking at the Arse/Everton game and how each side was able to dominate the other for long periods shows us how difficult it is to maintain intensity and fluidity for a whole 90 minutes. We have played some great stuff in the last few games at times but failed to really capitalise and put them to bed. Apart from the one awful match we have shown great defensive resolve. Now that AVB seems to have dropped his ludicrous blinkered use of inverted wingers maybe the guys will feel liberated enough to attack with width, pace and numbers more and eventually chances will be taken. Why it has taken 15 games for this to become clear to him when fans and pundits alike have been clamouring for it is beyond me. Accepting criticism is a virtue not a weakness and giving criticism is not moaning, it's caring. Perhaps the "holier than thou" brigade will remember that in future.
Love totty
LT ... not religious myself! lol
Geofspurs
Gerrard out for 6 weeks. Thats a big positive for us. Hopefully now we get Chiriches & Vertonghen back for the big game.
sydqcb5
Geofspurs, we already top the Europa game. I dont care if we loose Anzhi game 5-0 at home, if it means we can rest our key players & ready for Liverpool game. Regardless, I see Lamela, Townsend & Soldado all starting for Anzhi game. With so many defensive injuries, key is to somehow put a patched up defense for that game.
sydqcb5
sydqcb5 ... can only see a win on Thursday, whoever plays. Liverpool is the game (pity about Gerrard - lol) to win, although not losing will do me. Might have to be adventurous in defence ... playing Capoue as CB seemed to work. Might have to play someone else out of position. Individually, I think they can handle that for the odd game or two.
Geofspurs
i doubt they will totty and very good post by the way........
tophobunty1882
Topho you certainly put King Coopsie back in his box :)
South L/Derry Spurs
YEP - In the past I've passed on to the site moderator, the opinions of various members who have contacted me voicing their displeasure about what past (and present) members have posted on here. As I have also pointed out, there is ONLY TWO people who have the ability to ban anyone from this site, so if he has chosen to do that, it is because THEY deems those members worthy of a ban, NOT because of what anybody has said to them. It is NOT down to me who gets banned, warned, or requested to 'pipe down', by those who have the power to dictate who goes or stays on this site. I can caegroically state, without a shadow of doubt, that I have NEVER "requested somebody be banned, because it is not my decision to make. I can only pass on what other people have said to me, because they have not known how to get in contact with the 2 people who have the ability to make the big decisions. There is NO "King Coopsie", just as there is NO "Vital Coopsie".

To suggest that those with the power to ban people, have done so because they've been told/asked to, is, quite frankly, disrespectful to the two men who make those decisions. They are individuals, so make their own minds. Chin up :-)
coopsieyid
Cooooopsie your still a legend in my eyes ! what u don't know about our beloved Spurs ain't worth knowing :)
South L/Derry Spurs
Good post that LT, I don't buy the whole AVB's slow build up, possession based tactics demoralising and tiring out opponents. The earlier performances and certain results didn't vindicate that. Nor do I believe, that the team has all of a sudden magically gelled. Since Newcastle there certainly seems to have been a change in "vision", we are playing with a higher tempo, more width, more balance, no inverted wingers, and it seems that certain players, eg Lennon, Dembele, Pauli, Holtby are playing with more freedom. I don't know what caused the change, maybe it was a brainstorming session between players and the coaching staff, (I suspect that there was some words exchanged after the City game) or maybe AVB woke up in a cold sweat after an epiphany moment, who knows? Let's just hope we continue playing some positive football and can get good results against L'pool and Southampton.
Cleveland ARTSPURS
S L/D S - Feck knows if you're being sarcastic or not, but I'll still take it ;-) lol

Cleveland - IF you're right, re a change in "vision", I'd suggest it's down to one tiny ingredient, LENNON. Getting him back 'fit' and getting Townsend as far t=from the right as possible, has allowed us to maintain width & shape. Add that to the 'comfort' it's given Walker, ie he can now attack with more freedom, safe in the knowledge that, unlike Townsend, Lennon WILL be ready to drop in and cover his position, I think it's blatantly obvious :-)
coopsieyid
 

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